About the authors

Amie Kaufman is the award-winning co-author of the Starbound series. Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the Lotus War series. They live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met thanks to international taxation law and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts.

photo of jay kristoff and amie kaufman

About the book

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that's little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it.

After Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light—a boy she swore she'd never speak to again. With an enemy warship in hot pursuit, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet.

book cover of illuminae

Allen & Unwin

Judges’ comments

If anyone doubted that young adult fiction is not the place to break the rules of writing and storytelling then even a glance at Illuminae should dispel that. Co-authors Kaufman and Kristof have concocted a hugely entertaining space opera composed of found and assembled documents, emails, transcripts, cross-sections, concrete poetry and more. The book is peppered with literary allusions, from Greek philosophers to Walt Whitman and George Orwell. In the year 2575 a planet containing useful minerals is unexpectedly attacked. Hundreds of innocent people are killed and communities devastated. At the centre of the story are teenage couple Kady and Ezra, who have just broken up, just three hours before the attacks. As powerful corporations seek the other’s annihilation, Kady and Ezra must work together to save each other. Between a malevolent artificial intelligence program, a deadly virus and pursuit by a killer spacecraft, what hopes for romance? A tour-de-force of storytelling.